Twitter is revamping its interface. If your Twitter account has not been updated yet, it will be soon. (My personal twitter account was updated today.) The new interface has some very nice enhancements, some of which you will likely enjoy. Here is my quick assessment of some of the changes.
The screen takes on a more horizontal flow, versus the vertical up and down feel of the old layout. Overall, the content area takes up a little more real estate than before, meaning that your custom background is likely to be in need of a refresh.
Although the content area takes up more space, less of it is devoted to the Timeline – historically the central focus of Twitter. The area for individual tweets is a little taller and a little less wide. Overall it looks nice, and seems to flow very well. The content section also includes tabs across the top for easy switching between the timeline, @mentions, searches, and lists. This is very convenient, and maximizes the real estate of the screen, while still making information readily visible to the user.
Within each individual tweet, there is now an icon that, when moused over, provides additional information about the user some of their recent updates, and any hashtags or links included in their update. This is a great enhancement that helps to add context to both the 14o character message and well as the messenger.
The big design changes take place on the right 1/2 of the screen. Gone is the search bar, which has been moved to a more prominent location at the top of the screen. Much more real estate is devoted to showing friends, followers, your most recent update, favorite tweets, suggested followers, trending topics, sponsored tweets, and other relevant links. Still, with all of this content, there is a lot of open territory. It is very easy to envision that Twitter will look to add more paid content to this area. The redesign seems to make this idea a little more user friendly, as it will now have a more designed home. It would appear that content could be included here without interfering in the user experience too much, something that has always been important to Twitter and its users.
Overall, Twitter is still Twitter. It is still 140 characters. It’s still people sharing information with other people every second of every day. I don’t know how many people that didn’t “get it” before will suddenly awaken to how incredible it is because of the new design. I also question how many users of third party clients like Tweet Deck and HootSuite will migrate back to using the site directly. The inability to manage multiple accounts at one time as well as monitor and update other social networks may keep many away. Still, the refresh of the design is very nice. It’s more user friendly, better at delivering contextual information, and opens up more opportunity for the company to increase usage and make money.
What do you think of the new Twitter?
For those who have not seen it yet, here is a video from Twitter promoting the redesign.
More information is available at http://twitter.com/newtwitter